Pakistan Day Celebrations – We are Pakistan (Report and Photos)
Dubai 24th March 2013 By: Zulfiqar Shah
To commemorate the adoption of the Pakistan Resolution in full fervor, Pakistan Association Dubai Organized a four days festival titled “We are Pakistan” featuring a bouquet of events comprising up of Pakistan Mela – Meena Bazar, Clean the Environment Campaign, Blood Donation Campaign,Education & Career Fair, Health Awareness Camp and Peace Exhibition. The festival started on Wednesday 20th March 2013 continued till Saturday 23rd March 2013 to attract people from all walks of life to the tranquil lush lawn of Pakistan Association Dubai where numerous stalls and pana-flexes were set up by the sponsors from the parking lot to the stage. A red carpet art gallery was decorated towards a silent corner and inflatable slides and climbing toys invited children to hours of excitement.
H.E. Tariq Iqbal Soomro the Consul General of Pakistan inaugurated the celebrations with the ribbon cutting in beats of folk Pakistani Dholak. He was joined by Consul Generals of Philippines, Thailand, Ghana and Bosnia Herzegovina. The Meena Bazar began on 20th March 2013 with recitation from holy Quran closely followed by its translation and few moments of silence. Tunes of the National Anthems of Pakistan played on electric guitar broke the silence. The entire audience joined the chorus in national enthusiasm and spirit to further resonate the four walls of PAD. Sounds of hope echoed through the walls of Oud Metha as the audience stood still to the tunes of the National Anthem of brotherly country United Arab Emirates.
PADs’ President Dr. Zia ul Hasan took to the stage as being the keynote speaker at the opening of the festival. He spoke of the need to acknowledge our responsibility as expatriates and to pace up the efforts to meet challenges at hand. Dr. Faisal Ikram (General Secretary -PAD) addressed the youth as agents of change and advised them to play a proactive role in protecting the law of land. He went on to say that Pakistan and Emirates enjoy traditional friendly relations that are rooted in common faith and cultural affinities. He mentioned that the event aimed at showcasing Prideful culture and Heritage and to encourage the youth to feel confident in expressing their ideas and in sharing artistic work with the world.
Later, H.E. Tariq Iqbal Soomro the Consul General of Pakistan, the Chief Guest of the occasion in his speech said that people of Pakistan highly valued relations with their Emirati brethren and that this event manifests Pakistani community’s desire to add a new chapter to these bilateral ties. He applauded the efforts of all organizers for designing activities to bolster civic sense amongst audience. He formally inaugurated the program in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
President PAD, Dr. Zia ul Hasan took the stage to perfectly set the patriotic theme for the evening exactly from where the Consul General had left it. He thanked program moderators and volunteers who participated in various programs to make the festival more colorful and stressed the need for organizing more of such events to highlight the hidden talent of the youth.
The Meena Bazar proved to be a string of pearls featuring a variety of fun filled activities designed for different age groups like fancy dress shows, introductions to High Achievers labeled “Talent of Pakistan”, Dholki Performance, Quiz Competition with funny ideas, Magic Show, Joker Competition, National Songs Competition for kids, Kids Speech Competition, Martial Arts Show, Fruit peeling and eating competition, Chart Drawing Competition, Chart Writing Competition, Guess the masala and other miscellaneous ad-hoc activities like poetry recitation. Tableaus were presented by kids under supervision of trainers and teachers from various prestigious community schools. A martial arts performance followed, adding a distinct flavor to the event, which concluded when kids dressed up in traditional costumes enthralled the audience with a cultural mix of traditional & folk rhythmic dances. Strumming on electric guitars, a performer uplifted the mood of the audience with his medley performance of National Songs and now the audience was all set to rekindle its love for the patriotic words through the young maestro’s heart touching voice.
Passing through a phalanx of cameras and cocooned by a crowd of fans, the long awaited Hanif Raja with his regular fancy expressions, walked on stage to face an over-crowded front row applauding the stand-up comedy king. It took Raja moments to soothe their nerves with his improvised jokes in a signature colloquial style of addressing Pakistani stereotypes to highlight issues in a humorous yet socially relevant way. The audience was left roaring with laughter with his new act of taking humor for a roller coaster ride. It was the cherry on top of a perfect three hours of hilarious comedy. Mr.Sharafat Ali Shaht the famous Pakistani actor with Hanif Raj’s captivating recital of Iqbal’s poetry completed the evening.
Education & Career Fair
Another attraction of the celebration was education fair, representatives universities provided counseling to the students. A number of universities from Pakistan with the theme “Study in Pakistan” participated along with local universities. Students from Different Pakistani school presented their projects “wonders of Pakistan” depicting Heroes and achievements of Pakistan in different fields portraying soft and true image of Pakistan. Career counseling sessions were conducted by educationists throughout the event.
Spreading the word “Peace” through his Unique work is the aim of Mr. Kaleem Sheharyar by creating and exhibiting Flags of 17 countries, made with precious stones, jewels and metals(Ruby, Diamond, Emerald, Opal, Pearl, Gold , white Gold , Silver Brass etc).The exhibition attracted a number visitors prominent community members and diplomats.
Clean the environment Campaign
More than 400 school and university students and community members participated in the Clean the environment campaign at Jumeriah Beach on 22nd March 2013 with the support of Dubai Municipality and Community Development Authority. Students from Pakistan Education Academy Dubai, Sheikh Rashid Pakistani School Dubai, Sheikh Khalifa Pakistani School Abu Dhabi, SZABIST University and Pakistan Islamia School Ajman participate. A marvelous performance by the students presenting a tableau attracted the beach goers and participants conveying the message of persevering the marine life and the environment. Senior officials of Dubai Municipality andCommunity Development Authority were also present on the occasion.
Blood Donation Camp & health Awareness Camp
On the last day of the celebrations, Dr. Amer Ahmed Sharif (Managing Director of Dubai Health Care City) and Mr. Saleh Al Mazmi (Head of Licensing-Community Development Authority) inaugurated the Blood Donation and health awareness camp which was one of the main activities of the celebrations. A large number of blood donors were queued at the blood donation camp. The City Hospital, NMC Hospital and Supervision opticals were the partners of the activity. Free health checks (BMI, Blood Sugar, BP), eye and dental checks were conducted by the participating hospitals and clinics. Dr. Nighat Aftab (President –Medical Wing of PAD) accompanied the guests through the camp and briefed about the various free health services provided by the association.